Italian Poplar
(Populus x canadensis var. serotina)
Simple
Roundish
Alternate
Toothed
Flattened leaf stalk
Simple
Roundish
Alternate
Toothed
Abrupt point

leaves

Winter twig
Winter twig

trees

distribution map

 

The leaves are alternate, rounded, 6-10 cm long, and narrow abruptly into a short point. They are hairless, reddish-bronze when young, later bright, shiny-green above, slightly paler below with blunt teeth along a narrow, clear margin. The 4-10 cm leaf-stalks are strongly flattened.

ID check

Italian Poplar is a  large, deciduous tree with erect branches up to 30 m and a long trunk with no 'bosses' (rough swollen areas) and a coursely, but regularly fissured, grey-brown bark. Very commonly planted in river valleys, roadsides and hedgerows.

The upright, spreading branches are unlike the Black Poplar in which the lowest branches arch downwards.

Only male trees are known on which catkins, 3-6 cm long, appear in March or early April, well before the leaves, but they soon fall.

Each male flower has 20-25 crimson anthers.

Facts

  • This Poplar is a hybrid between an American species (Populus deltoides) and the Black Poplar which originated in France in mid-18th century: it was introduced into Britain a little later.

  • Because only males are known all trees planted have been produced by taking cuttings - 'cloning' for over 200 years.

  • A valuable quick-growing timber tree used for making hurdles, boxes and crates.

Return to Index Page